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Finally Catching Our Breath "Outliers"

Topics: 2008 , Frank Newport , Gallup , Gary Langer , Jay Cost , Jon Cohen , Kathy Frankovic , SurveyUSA , The 2008 Race

Gallup introduces a daily national tracking survey (in case you didn't follow the links on Eric's earlier post).

SurveyUSA blogs the final South Carolina polls.

Jay Cost delves into the SurveyUSA crosstabs to ponder the state of the GOP race.

Jon Cohen considers the racial divide in the Democratic contest and mines past exit polls for the demographic profiles of upcoming primaries.

Frank Newport looks at the class gap in support for Obama, Mike Huckabee's challenges and the perceived impact of coming tax rebates.

David Hill takes issue with the way pundits define the Republican base.

Kathy Frankovic looks at perceptions of how the media has treated Clinton and Obama.

Gary Langer warns that stock market drops seldom impact consumer confidence

Chris Cillizza talks to campaign pollsters about whether national polls matter.

The Examiner profiles pollster Andrew Kohut.

Douglas Burns interviews Ann Selzer.

 

Comments
Gary Kilbride:

Regarding the Chris Cillizza piece, it always busts me up when pundits or pollsters dismiss national polls. Particularly in the general election. There is no greater predictive element than national polls and an understanding how each state will logically fall in line with that national dynamic.

Beginning in '96 I started using a basic "partisan index" (although I didn't know that term at the time) evaluation of state voting tendencies and easily won a 16-man election betting pool. My mistake was bragging about it afterwards, to the point many of my competitors embraced similar tactics beginning in 2000. The clods who insisted on relying on statewide polls exclusively always trailed badly in those pools.

It's an awesome evaluator leading to November. In '04 I remember laughable statewide poll releases on the same day from the same polling firm, trying to pretend Ohio and Florida were 15 or 16 points apart in preference. One had Kerry up by 7 or 8 in one state, and Bush by same margin in the other. Meanwhile, anyone who understood the partisan index realized it was impossible. Those states nearly mirror each other in base preference, all things being equal. Ohio's economy was much worse than Florida's in '04, so it voted about 3 points more red than Florida.

No doubt we'll see similar nonsense in '08, co-existing statewide polls with no basis in common sense.

BTW, the partisan index is also amusingly and conveniently ignored by the fraud crew. After '04 I wrote to several of the loudest and highest profile exit poll believers, asking them to explain how exit poll margins in states like New Hampshire and New York and Pennsylvania, etc. could be rationalized in relation to the known long term voting tendencies in those states. I'm still awaiting a single reply.

Primary season national polling is obviously more fluid. But anyone who ignored Hillary's extended stay far atop the national polls to anoint Obama post-Iowa was remarkably foolish, IMO. Hillary trounced Howard Dean in hypothetical polls in late '03, even as Dean was surging atop the actual Democratic field. That's always been a benchmark for me. If she led Dean by 3-1 at that point, it's a foundational stranglehold and invulnerable to wild shifts based on one or two early primaries.

I was certainly wrong about Giuliani. Mistaken to the point I took 10/1 on winning the nomination, and was only able to dump half of it when Rudy started to tank. Still baffling that my closest right wing friends continue to support him, while seemingly everyone else has bailed. But I will point out that many pundits and posters who are ridiculing the Giuliani candidacy now, and anyone who thought he had a chance, were lining up behind Huckabee not long ago. I remember threads on progressive websites like, "Huckabee the frontrunner," and comments that he would sweep to the nomination; "I said so all along!" Pretty funny that those predictions are tossed aside like they never happened, but it's open season on denouncing Rudy's bid.

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Gary Kilbride:

Whoops. Ohio voted about 3 points more blue than Florida in '04.

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